Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Closing remarks at the Development Cooperation Forum and the High-level Segment of
the Economic and Social Council

Mr. President,

Looking back at the successful High-level Segment we are about to conclude, I would like to offer my thanks and a few observations.

My heartfelt gratitude goes to the President of ECOSOC, for his leadership, to the excellent moderators, speakers, discussants and all of you for so eagerly engaging in the discussions.

The High-level Political Forum has proven that it will be key in promoting and reviewing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), within the context of the post-2015 development agenda.

The Annual Ministerial Review brought forward 10 national voluntary presentations from a wide spectrum of the United Nations’ membership.  We witnessed critical yet constructive peer reviews by other member States. This can serve as a model for future national reviews.

Having listened carefully to the many distinguished speakers and all the stakeholders that participated in the HLPF and AMR dialogues, I have felt a growing sense of urgency: to make a final push to achieve the MDGs; and to prepare for implementing, monitoring and evaluating a global sustainable development agenda.

This makes especially heartening the swift agreement on the Ministerial Declaration earlier in the week. The Declaration can serve as a milestone as we advance work on a future sustainable development agenda in other fora of the United Nations.

Let me delve now more deeply into what we have heard from the 2014 Development Cooperation Forum.  Useful discussions took place on development cooperation, including concepts, systems and ways of working, to fit in the new realities.  These discussions made important contributions to the formulation of the post-2015 development agenda.  In this way we can grasp its potential to advance a truly transformative post-2015 development agenda.

The Forum has begun to shape a new narrative for development cooperation, one driven by all actors and enabling them – including women and girls, the youth and elderly, people migrating or living in peri-urban areas – to become part of customized and effective development solutions on the ground.

This new narrative for development cooperation must invite people to join together in a shared vision, translate words into actions, and make development real and lasting. It must advance our common concern for sustainable development and poverty eradication, and our clear sense of priority to help those most in need, in all countries, developing and developed. The narrative must echo, and encourage, the scope, scale and impact of changes that are needed to shape the future of development cooperation for all. It has to embrace and embolden our ways of working with each other, driven by innovative practices and instruments, passion and common sense, and relationships built in the true sense of partnership.

Formulating this narrative is not an intellectual exercise. We should consider it as a guidepost and tool to change our horizon, overcoming the dichotomies that often hold us captive and limit our imagination for how we can partner and develop solutions that work.

I greatly value your concrete suggestions and solutions on how to make development cooperation nimble and responsive to new contexts. It is clear that operational practices on the ground must improve. A more structured approach to sharing lessons with each other is key to inform decisions on the efficient allocation and use of official development assistance and other sources of financial and technical cooperation. This must also include a more candid sharing of practices that do not work.

The Forum has advanced the discussions on a renewed partnership for development to mobilize financing and other means of implementation. It has called for the partnership to bring together the Monterrey and Rio tracks of discussions, while recognizing the complexity this involves, particularly with the ongoing negotiations on climate financing..

The renewed and intergovernmentally agreed global partnership has to take into account existing commitments and catalyze the engagement of all actors. It needs to address new and emerging challenges and engage all development actors in a more coherent, and effective manner. It must be rooted in the determination to dismantle inequalities, counteract fragility and free the full human capacity in every society to achieve more resilient development outcomes.

Being open-minded is key to the success of a renewed global partnership. We must stay open to different ideas, approaches and solutions.

Multi-stakeholder partnerships in all key sectors will be important complements to this renewed global partnership for development.

The Forum has called for a multi-layered architecture for monitoring and accountability of development cooperation. We must make mutual accountability for development results a reality. To do that, the concept has to be unpacked so that different development actors can apply it in their day-to-day operations.

We have to step up efforts to monitor progress together, based on reliable information, and in critical areas with only limited progress so far, especially in gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and securing their rights to development. Capacities need to be strengthened to evaluate achievements and development impact and hold partners more effectively answerable. This is critical to instill the sense of trust and truthfulness we have talked about over the last two days.

At the global level, progress on trends in development cooperation has to be measured independently. The United Nations is central to this effort.  For local, national, regional and other global mechanisms for monitoring and accountability to work hand-in-hand, the United Nations can be the powerhouse for a legitimate and people-centred review. A review that builds on decentralized efforts, bottom up and with all actors engaged.

Looking to the 2014 to 2016 cycle, the Forum will be geared towards providing specific inputs on the future of development cooperation to the content and design of a post 2015 development agenda.  The forum will keep a strong emphasis on the future role of ODA as primary investment in many underfunded sectors and smart catalyst for other sources of financing, including domestic resource mobilization. The Forum will further strengthen synergies with the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation and other relevant processes. It will continue to address critical and often underexposed issues related to international development cooperation that will guide member states and other stakeholders in their efforts to implement a common vision of sustainable development for all.

We are looking ahead to two exciting years and your continued contributions and participation in the Forum and its preparatory process.

I would also like to thank the entire DESA team, including the Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination and the Division for Sustainable Development and our colleagues from Conference Management, Security and Public Information for the outstanding support provided throughout this week.

I thank you and wish you a safe journey home.